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Kitty, Daisy and Lewis

Kitty, Daisy and Lewis

Interviewed by
Courtney Sanders
Friday 20th January, 2012 9:09AM

Kitty, Daisy and Lewis released Smoking in Heaven earlier in 2011 and are heading to New Zealand at the end of the month in support. UTR caught up with Daisy to discuss the album, reflect on last year, and find out what it's like to be in a band with your brother and sister.

2011 must have been a pretty big year for you guys. Reflecting back, what were some of the highlights?

Ah, I donno, it’s hard because we tour around it’s hard to remember because every gig there’s always something fun that happens. We did touring around Europe and that was awesome as a whole.

Do you enjoy the tour experience?

It’s weird because when you’re not touring you can’t wait to get back on tour and after a week of touring you just want to go home. So it’s an up-down thing, when you’re working and you have a load of time off you get bored and you finally go back to work and you’re like ‘oh man I want a day off’.

Do you notice a difference in crowds from place to place? Where are your fans most adoring?

Um, yeah well it’s not here in the UK that’s for sure. We have a pretty good crowd and it takes a while to build fans over in the UK but when we go to Germany and Belgium and France it seems like we’re actually something out there. Even when we come to New Zealand and Australia we feel a lot more welcome and liked.

I guess the UK is so spoiled with bands that audiences get less excited?

There are so many bands that come to the UK that it’s not such a major thing whereas in Europe and Australia it’s a bigger deal because they don’t get so many bands over there. Also just the people I think because here when you do a gig there’s some sort of attitude with the crowd where when they buy a ticket they have massive expectation about the show rather than just enjoying it. It’s hard to explain but crowds often have a bad attitude here.

You released a new album in 2011. Tell me a little bit about writing and recording Smoking in Heaven.

Basically we don’t really spend our time writing until we know we have to record an album. Even now we know we should be writing for the next album but because we don’t have that pressure we’re not writing it. Until they’re like ‘you’ve got a month to write the songs and record it’ then we’ll get down to it. We’re not one of those bands that constantly have material, we literally come up with stuff when it’s time to do it. We’re always playing music though, always.

That must be quite a nice way to write an album because doing in such a short space of time must give it some cohesion?

It’s also because when we started off we were just playing music that our Dad had sung to us – singing songs that were around us, stuff that we heard from records. We got signed all of a sudden and we just recorded the songs that we had been playing all along because those were the songs we knew. When it came to the second album were like ‘oh God, we haven’t ever written a song!’

All three of us are different in the way we write. Kitty and Lewis both play guitar so it’s easy for them to come up with chords and know how the song works whereas with me I work around with little comments in my head and the song won’t make sense musically until we’ve jammed it together. It’s different with every song really because we’re into so many different types of music there’s not really one way we write, we just jam together and see where it goes. With our family it’s more just playing rather than writing words. The most important thing is getting a groove first of all, so we go to whatever groove we feel like and just get a groove going and then the rest of it sort of comes naturally.

Was there anything that inspired the latest album, or anything musically that you were into at the time?

Because we’re into so many different types of music there are loads of things that inspired us. When we first started off we weren’t as clued up and we didn’t know as much music. We’ve grown up with random things like ska and rock ‘n roll but when we came to write the second album we decided to put some ska influences on there – we could do it so why not? Also me and Kitty are into the hip hop beat, the old stuff where it’s really tuneful. So me and Kitty have got this groove going and that’s how we came up with ‘Messing with my Life’; it was influenced by hip hop beats but it ended up with a funk sound. We never base a song around one artist it just ends up how it comes out. A lot of the things that we recorded started as things we didn’t like but that we had to do something with because we didn’t have time to do anything else; ‘Messing with my Life’ was like that.

Because we’re family and we’ve all been jamming together for so long we all have the same idea about what works and what we like, so when we find the right vibe we’re just like ‘OK, let’s go with that’.

For people who aren’t super familiar with your back story it sounds like you had a pretty incredible upbringing. Do you want to just quickly paint a picture about what it was like?

It started off when we were tiny before we can remember. He was sitting in the same chair that I’m sitting in now actually playing acoustic guitar for us and singing. He comes from a big family of seven brothers and sisters so whenever we’d have a big family gathering we’d always ended up singing the same songs and Kitty Lewis and I got to know those songs but singing them and having fun with them. We started off with a piano and bongo drums and someone would be bashing away at the bongos and someone would be bashing away at the piano – whether they could play it or not we all just enjoyed doing it. One of us would be in the room playing something and my Mum would walk in and my brother would walk in and eventually everyone would be in there playing something. It probably did sound awful but we just love getting into a groove.

Do you still have that passion? You guys have been in the band, with the pressures that go with that, for a while now – is it still fun?

Um, it is still a lot of fun. It’s what we love to do but because we’re all kids at the time when it started we were always all together because we couldn’t just go out and leave the house that’s what we did for fun. Now that we’re older and go to the pub we’re not together as much so the only time we get to be together and have a proper jam is when we’ve been recording and we start rehearsing and we don’t rehearse really unless we’ve got a gig that we haven’t done for a while. Yeah so we just jam when we have the chance which is kind of sad.

What are your plans for 2012?

Well we’re coming to New Zealand and Australia, obviously, which is a big thing for us. Because we only come once a year it’s good to see the progress that we’ve made there when we’ve not been there. We supported Coldplay in America a few years back but we’ve never done our own thing there but we’re going to go there in April and do our own shows; just try to hit America a bit and see how it goes.

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